Get the most out of your social media accounts – what voice should you use?

Get the most out of your social media accounts – what voice should you use?

A client recently asked me "What kind of voice should you use for each social media platform?"

It's something Marketing Eye does everyday, but is so important for businesses to think about. Each platform has a specific personality. All posts should be based on your audience, but businesses need to think about the way in which they deliver their information. Does your audience want to read an extensive study? Or would they prefer a humorous anecdote? We've translated each platform and given them an equivalent voice
'dress code' to make things simple.

LinkedIn - The well-dressed professional

LinkedIn has changed a LOT in the past few years. It has become a powerful tool for professional connections. I can't tell you how many times I've heard the reply when asked for a resume "just look me up on LinkedIn."

Today everyone uses LinkedIn and if you don't have a LinkedIn account stop reading and go set up your profile NOW. For all your content on LinkedIn, you have to think about your audience (duh). If you are looking for a new position, a business connection, or even to show off your new job to an old rival, you want to be seen as very professional. As you would expect the person reading your content to be professional. They might be wearing a suit or some really sophisticated business attire.

When you walk into a room full of well dressed professionals you usually speak more formally. The basics of proper grammar and using full names in introductions are usually adopted. Most people stay away from colloquialisms. We all want to be thought of as the "smartest person in the room," so we try and put out that vibe.

Twitter - Business casual

Twitter is a different story as far as grammar is concerned. With a shortage of words (140 characters) people tend to become very inventive. However, the audience issues are still the same. When do people look at their twitter feed?- all day or at least we hope so.

Most people are at work during the day or out living their lives. Typically, if they are at work, they aren't wearing their pajamas as a lot of companies don't really like you to wear jeans to work. That puts most of the average audience wearing khakis and button ups or polo shirts.

This is a more casual conversation but still not "just chatting with your best friend." You aren't always sure who's going to be reading your feed so you don't want to sound like an idiot and you don't want to sound like a snob. Focus on the professional chat with a colleague not an old college friend you used to beat at beer pong and not a job interview.

Facebook - Casual

Facebook has become the casual 'say anything' platform. If your feed is anything like mine it is covered with family pictures, zen quotes, strangely helpful tips, and strong political opinions.

This is always fun to read, but I rarely take the time during my work day to scroll through it. I love taking a break at the end of the day on my couch and "Facebooking." It's a chance for me to sit with my dogs and zone out. I get the feeling I'm not alone in this guilty pleasure. A lot of people that are playing on Facebook do it at night or on the sly at work. This is by far the most casual of the platforms. For my couchsurfing time, I love comfy pj's and socks, not the suit I've been in all day.

Content on Facebook has to be interesting, eye catching and relevant to your audience. This is obviously true for every platform but with so many different distracting posts to read you really have to stand out.

Long story short - what voice should you use?

When creating content for LinkedIn, think about how you would talk to someone in a suit. When Tweeting think about someone in a business casual attire and how you would address a professional colleague. If you are creating content for Facebook, relax and be comfortable with your audience.

Most importantly for all platforms, know who you are try to reach and what you want them to do with your information. Always keep your focus and be honest, people can sense when you aren't genuine even in a tweet.

For more information on how Marketing Eye can help you with Social Media Marketing, contact us or call our office at 1300 300 080c

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comments ( 4 )
  • Fabio Dessì
    Fabio Dessì
    11 Feb 2017

    I am really interested in this topic because social media advent required a radical change in business communication landscape. Now it is an amazing tool for companies but they have to use it in the right way because sometimes may arise negative aspects which may undermine their business. The huge strength of social media communication consist not only in the quickness to reach the target consumers, but also in the related communications between consumers themselves and the opportunity to have a feedback for companies behavior. I am totally agree that each social media has its own users and the communication should be different in order to be effective.

  • Melissa
    29 Nov 2016

    I totally agree that each that each social media channel has their own personality that should guide the tone for content posted on each. I like to think of each as a type of individual - Facebook is the person that everyone knows, Twitter is a well-rounded chatterbox who knows what is currently happening, LinkedIn is a connector that has a serious but human side, Pinterest is that inspiring person who is a creative problem-solver, Instagram is an energetic, authentic and friendly person, and Snapchat is a fun, cheeky and spontaneous friend.

  • Ela Tran
    Ela Tran
    23 May 2016

    Hi Mellissah!

    I took an interest in this article as I've been studying marketing communications which addresses the different techniques businesses uses to advertise their brand and how they can appeal to their target audience. Although I learnt about the different techniques and what each social media platform aims to achieve I have never thought of the voice of each platform. Only now that i have realised that there are different voices that each platform carries.

    With the different "dress codes" that each social media platform carry, i definitely agree that businesses write differently for each social platform. For example with twitter, businesses and individuals can advertise their brand with a few simple words which will encapsulate what they want to sell or promote. It's simple, easy and quick to use and with more of a casual voice, people are able to relate well and may take an interest.

    Recently, I've been using Snapchat and I have noticed that some major franchises such as McDonalds have also taken up the chance to make their own Snapchat name to advertise their menu, team members, head office and also most importantly their consumers. SnapChat's voice/dress code is very casual and fun which will definitely appeal to their target market.

  • Fabian
    15 Apr 2016

    Great article! It's a good point to tailor each post to the platform rather than linking one post across them all as your communication will come across wrong if it's a super brief tweet pushed to Facebook which is full of hashtags (I know the functionality is there now but does anyone really use hashtags on Facebook). I would go a little further and think about pacing as well. Something like Twitter is fine to have a constant stream, in fact it works best when it is a rolling stream, but too many Facebook or Instagram posts clogging up your users feed could get you un-liked or ignored.

    There's so many other sites out there with a lot potential and varied audiences too, I'm sure you could write about them for days. My partner is constantly on Pinterest creating boards for parties, holidays or planning out the interior design of our house. I am personally a huge fan of Instagram which managed to stay cool even after being bought out by Facebook. For me it is easily the most interesting social media platform and I have seen some companies do some creative marketing through it with things like treasure hunts around Sydney with super close up photos and a clue to their location. Was a fun way to engage customers and effective too with a lot of interest and comments on the posts.